Dogs DIE in hot cars



With temperatures soaring, it is vital to take care of our animals.   And this means paying particular attention to the wellbeing of our livestock, wildlife and pets. There are always animals who suffer as a result of human thoughtlessness, arrogance and sheer stupidity, and sadly one scenario is dogs dying in hot cars.   

Cars heat up fast

A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly - even if it doesn't feel that warm.   When it's 22 degrees ouside, the temperature in a car can reach 47 degrees in an hour.  That's unbearable. Dogs can't wind the window down, open the car door or get themselves more water.  They are trapped. Conservatories and caravans or motor homes can equally be death traps.

Despite all the information available, the police and RSPCA still receive thousands of calls about dogs trapped inside cars on a hot day. 

Dogs Die in Hot Cars

What to do if you find a dog in a car on a hot day

There is information on the RSPCA's website, with information about what to do if you find a dog in a car on a hot day, including advice for if you think you need to break into the car to get the dog out - this could be a criminal act, so there are tips for how to approach such an action.   There's also information about the signs of heatstroke.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, all owners have a duty of care towards their animals.  This includes preventing suffering, and not exposing them to extremes of temperature.  If a dog is left on a warm day and suffers, the owners could be prosecuted.

Dogs are different to people - dogs can't cool down in the same way we can.  Leaving a window open or parking in the shade won't help.  Cloud cover can quickly disappear.  Temperatures in air conditioned cars can reach the same temperature as outside within minutes of the air-con being turned off.

The RSPCA points out that some dogs are more prone to heatstroke, such as the very young and old, dogs with thick heavy coats and those with very short flat faces such as pugs, whilst dogs with certain diseases or on some sort sof medication are also at risk, but frankly, any dog is at risk being shut in a car is at risk of heatstroke and death.   We all have a responsibility to care for our animals and look after them.

Finally please don't forget the 5 second hand test.

Warm day?  Hot day?  Put the back of your hand on the tarmac and leave it there for 5 seconds.  Too hot for you?  Then it's too hot for your dog to walk on.  Protect your dog's paws with the five second test.  Walk them early in the morning or in the cool of the evening. 

And please - don't forget, when you're sitting in a cafe, drinking a nice cool drink and refreshing yourself - think of your dog.   He or she is probably very thirsty as well.

Keep animals cool in summer

The RSPCA has a poster you can download and a leaflet about dogs in hot car that you can download - click here.  The RSPCA also has advice on walking your dog in hot weather